He’s older now. Retired, but not done. He doesn’t move quickly, and his hearing is not great. For thirty years he shepherded our church. Now he leads a Life Group. We call him “Brother Bob.” All of Bradenton calls him that. He’s a passionate evangelist for evangelism. Give him a minute of your time, and you’ll hear him share the gospel. Boldly. Without apology.
He was at Vacation Bible School every day last week. He brought three children. Two of them accepted Christ. In fact, seventeen total children accepted Christ, along with two parents. Countless gospel seeds were planted.
What other program or event bears this kind of fruit in a one-week timeframe? VBS is a local mission trip that just about any church can do.
Multiple generations came together. For one intense week, a multi-generational army united around the good news of Jesus. It’s one of the most beautiful scenes in ministry.
People from the neighborhood showed up. They claimed it was the packed parking lot that piqued their curiosity. In reality, the Holy Spirit guided them from their front yards to our front door. VBS was an opportunity for us to be good neighbors.
The gospel is the central focus. The reason we do VBS is to share the gospel. No doubt, the games and activities and skits are a lot of fun. But the focal point is telling children about Jesus. Everything else is periphery to the grand purpose of sharing with a child, “Here is how Jesus saves you.”
Men get to be kids. Our VBS happens at night, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. There are several reasons for this timeslot, but one of the biggest is that a later time gives many men in our church the opportunity to serve. The women at West B always step up in incredible ways, but there’s something special about seeing a middle-aged man in an orange wig doing kid song motions on spirit night.
We carry with us the legacy of Brother Bob and his generation. Some in our church are in their fifth decade of VBS. When I’m older, retired—when my hearing is gone and I don’t move as quickly, I hope to bring children to VBS just like Brother Bob. VBS is as important now as ever. I believe it will be just as vital in the future. We’re all VBS-tired, as deacon Don in the below picture can attest, but it’s worth it. Every bit of it.